Skip to main content

Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

See other formats


the various groups of foreign scholars banded themselves together
into a number of separate " universities."

The first societies of the kind both in Paris and Bologna were
those of the masters. Some time about 1170 we learn that one
Johannes of Cella, a student of Paris, was admitted to " the
fellowship of the elect masters " there, a statement which indicates
the beginnings of a rudimentary organization of masters sometime
between 1150 and 1170, and therefore the beginnings of Paris
university. Concerning this early society of masters very little
is known. The scanty evidence there is, hpwever, shows that in
the scholars* gild, as in other gilds, the student had to qualify
himself for mastership by an apprenticeship lasting from five to
seven years as the disciple of a recognized master, and that at the
end of that time he was formally introduced to the society by his
master and entered its ranks by a ceremonial " inception " at
which he delivered a probationary lecture. At this stage the
master scholars had no written statutes and had not yet become a
legal corporation with an official head. Concerning the Bolognese
masters even less is known; but though there is no documentary
evidence for their existence before 1215, it is very probable that
they also had formed a society about the same time as the Parisian

The masters' societies followed the general precedent of the
trades gilds. The " universities " of law students which arose in
Bologna in the last decade of the century belong to a different
category, since their members had only the status of apprentices.
Their position was more like that of the societies of merchants
who combined in national companies when living in a foreign
country in pursuit of their calling. They also were foreigners
who needed to co-operate in self-defence, and their associations
followed the same principle of national grouping. To begin with,
there were four "universities'* of them, corresponding to the
four " nations " of Lombards, Tuscans, Romans, and Ultra-
montanes, the last the result of an earlier fusion of French,
German, English and other nations. (The division of students
into four "nations'* became traditional in later universities,
though it disappeared in Bologna itself when the four " univer-
sities " were reduced to two about a century after this time.)
These " universities" had in the first instance no authority
in the academic sphere. They were merely private societies